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Local resident launches social media company, The Social Tee

“If you come over to MySpace I’ll Google on your Facebook and we can get LinkedIn.”

Would you wear this message on a T-shirt? Nathan Latka thinks so.

In mid-January, Latka, 20, a Leesburg resident and Virginia Tech student, will launch The Social Tee, a social-media graphic T-shirt design company and a social-media marketing company. His pitch is simple: How much time do you spend daily on social media and networking Web sites? Most people’s daily routines include spending several minutes, if not hours, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social sites. Latka’s idea is to attach a sell-able product to those minutes and hours.

“I spend five to 10 minutes on my Facebook—why not tap into that?” Latka said.

For example, the “dislike button,” is increasing in popularity, he said. The dislike button, if picked up by Facebook, would theoretically allow users to click on a thumbs-down symbol for any comment, status or photo of another user they disagree with or dislike. This feature has not yet been added to Facebook, but Latka thinks it will be, considering it has 3,219,295 “fans” and counting. To capitalize on these millions of fans, Latka designed a dislike-button-themed T-shirt. He plans to advertise it to the group’s 3 million fans in hope of sales.

But Latka doesn’t just have his eyes set on people already faithfully following social media. He plans to market his services to small-business owners who need help connecting to the online world. The Social Tee will use direct marketing tactics over the Internet to increase a small business’s presence by creating and maintaining its social media accounts.

Latka believes The Social Tee will stay relevant because he considers social media to be “the next Industrial Revolution.” Although he admits that the popularity of some social sites, such as MySpace, have dwindled, he said he believes that something else will take its place—like Hulu, an online video service.

This isn’t Latka’s first business venture. He made a few hundred dollars by passing out order forms for hemp necklaces and anklets on his high school bus.

He’s mechanical in his processes. Each morning, he jumps on the Internet and checks out The Social Tee’s page views and comments. Within the first few days of launching, his blog, thesocialtee.com, received 4,000 visitors and now has hits from all seven continents.

But it wasn’t easy getting this far. He admits he spends six to seven hours a day surfing the Web and he’s hoping you are, too.

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